A Nassau grand jury has added new charges to the indictment against James Farr, a former Marine who prosecutors say hit and killed two brothers in August while driving drunk.

Farr pleaded not guilty Monday to the new charges, two counts each of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. They carry the same maximum 15-year prison penalty as his previous charges, which included two counts of first-degree vehicular manslaughter and one of drunken driving.

"We felt the facts supported an additional charge and legal theory, so we presented additional evidence to the grand jury and they voted to add the new charges," said Eric Phillips, a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney.

Farr, 33, who was discharged from his post as a staff sergeant assigned to the communications bureau in the First Marine Corps District in Garden City, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, prosecutors said.

Thomas Occhiogrosso, 27, of Riverhead, and Joseph Occhiogrosso, 28, of East Meadow, were crossing Hempstead Turnpike near Conti Square Boulevard in East Meadow at 4:15 a.m. when they were struck and killed, prosecutors said.

Both Farr and Thomas Occhiogrosso were Iraq war veterans, relatives and law enforcement officials said. Farr served three tours in the Marines, while Occhiogrosso served two in the Navy, they said.

Farr's lawyer, Greg Grizopoulos of Rockville Centre, said what happened was an accident. Toxicology tests show the Occhiogrosso brothers had been drinking, and their own intoxication may have played a role, Grizopoulos said.

"Whenever you have pedestrians crossing a major roadway away from a crosswalk at 4:15 a.m. there is a high chance of tragedy," Grizopoulos said. "Add the fact that they were intoxicated, and the chance of tragedy increases."

Paul Occhiogrosso, the brother of the two men killed, did not comment Monday.

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